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Three murders, grand jury mark busy year in '06

Monday, February 26, 2007

CHARLESTON -- Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore's second year in office was a busy, productive and successful year.

Moore and his deputies worked over 370 cases in 2006 resulting in numerous felony arrests, according to a recent press release.

"2006 was a busy year for me and my team," he said. "We had to deal with several murders and a grand jury."

Three murders were investigated by the department in 2006, all of which resulted in arrests being made within a few hours of starting the investigations.

The first murder investigation took place in April after a body was located outside of East Prairie. Moore and several deputies arrived and processed the scene with assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Major Crime Task Force.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that while the body was dumped in Mississippi County, the murder actually took place in New Madrid County.

The second murder, which occurred in September in East Prairie, was the shooting death of a county resident by his former brother-in-law. This investigation also resulted in an immediate arrest.

The third murder, a shooting death in December that happened in Wyatt, was also resolved with an immediate arrest. This murder was thought to be the result of an ongoing dispute between the victim and the shooter.

Moore attributed the quick arrests in all three cases to his department's team work, dedication and professionalism.

"My team knows what their jobs entail," he said. "They know how to react and they are willing to go the extra mile to serve the citizens of Mississippi County."

Moore said the grand jury resulted in approximately 50 warrants and arrests in 2006. Among those indicted by the grand jury and arrested were the county's former sheriff and administrator of the Mississippi County Detention Center.

Many of the indictments handed down from the grand jury are still in the court system, Moore noted.

While the department is not able to readily come up with crime statistics, the press release noted that approximately 120 suspects were sentenced by the courts and delivered to the Missouri Department of Corrections by the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department in 2006.

In addition to arresting several child molesters and retrieving stolen items from numerous states, the Mississippi County Sheriff's Department even returned a dog stolen from Tennessee.

"No case is too large or too small," Moore said. "We work each case with integrity and determination. We follow through every lead."

Moore said he and his deputies are prepared to continue to crackdown on child molesters and sex offenders as well as on the drug problems and domestic violence in the county.